House prices drop 3.6% year-on-year: Haart

Average UK house prices fell by 3.6 per cent to £217,785 over the year to April due to a lack of properties coming onto the market, according to Haart estate agency group.

Month-on-month average prices were down 0.8 per cent, the data shows.

Average first-time buyer house prices dipped by 1.5 per cent from March to April, and 0.7 per cent over the year to £166,527.

Furthermore, the number of transactions in April 2019 rose slightly by 0.2 per cent month-on-month and more substantially by 6.5 per cent on an annual basis to 40,563.

The stock of available homes for sale was down by 3 per cent compared to last year, despite a 5.4 per cent increase in new buyer registrations resulting in an imbalance between supply and demand.

In London new instructions from property sellers plunged by 22 per cent annually, although the estate agency group does not disclose the number of listings behind this fall.

The average house price in the capital was down 1.1 per cent compared to last year at £503,987 according to its data.

In the rental market, the number of tenants dropped by 3.8 per cent compared to March, but was 6.5 per cent higher than a year ago.

The average rent dropped by 1.1 per cent from March to April, but was up 3.6 per cent annually to reach £1,280 per month across England and Wales.

London rents rose by 0.6 per cent on a monthly basis and by 5.8 per cent annually to £1,952 a month in April.

Despite landlords’ concerns over the impact of the tenant fees ban and tax changes, the number registering to buy more rental properties rose by 10.9 per cent on a monthly basis and by 28 per cent annually.

Haart chief executive Paul Smith says: “Pent up demand was the theme in April, as it has been throughout the year, as a lack of stock continues to stifle the market.

“There are now 12 buyers chasing every instruction across the UK, as new buyer registrations return to a pre-Brexit vote levels and the number of new instructions continues to fall.

“The sluggish home movers market is boosting competition of rental stock and pushing up returns for landlords.

“The housing market plays a vital role in the health of the UK economy, and there is certainly more we can do to inject confidence and bring it back to life.

“Policymakers must seriously consider replicating incentives agreed to first-time buyers to downsizes, to introduce vital fluidity back into the market.”

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